Dan Howdle | May 26th, 2023
Sky offers hundreds of TV channels, showing everything from Premier League football and big blockbuster Hollywood movies to Sky Atlantic’s high-quality TV dramas, but what if you don't want the clunky satellite dish that comes with it?
Happily Sky now offers various options for viewing its content and so there is no longer the need to have a satellite dish if you don’t want one. With a choice of three different viewing systems on offer, you can choose to have a Sky TV package without a dish. In this guide, we go through all the options to help you decide.
Along with Sky Q, which still requires a satellite dish, Sky also now offers Sky Glass and Sky Stream to its customers, neither of which require a satellite dish – both systems just require an internet connection to work. You will get access to all the same channels as you would with Sky Q, just without the hassle of needing a dish installed. All you need is a good broadband connection.
Sky Glass is Sky’s revolutionary concept that involves buying a special TV from Sky that has all the services built in, meaning there is no requirement for a set-top box. You can choose any Sky TV packages, and you can also subscribe to Whole Home (Sky’s new name for Multiroom) should you wish, and watch your Sky content in a second room.
Sky Stream is Sky’s latest addition to its TV viewing systems and is the simplest option yet. Customers are supplied with a ‘puck’ (Sky’s name for the small, square box required to watch Sky Stream), which you simply plug in to your chosen TV with an HDMI cable and connect to your wifi wirelessly. Customers wanting a multiroom experience will need to sign up for Sky Whole Home for an extra monthly fee, and can then choose to have a maximum of another five pucks on which to watch Sky TV around your home – even at the same time.
Customers not wanting to commit to a long contract will be better off choosing Sky Stream as it comes on a rolling monthly contract that you can cancel at any time, whereas Sky Glass requires both a repayment contract for the TV itself (up to four years) and a minimum 18-month contract for the TV content. Note that you cannot record on Sky Stream or Sky Glass, but with both catch-up and on demand services freely available, this shouldn’t pose a problem to most customers.
Sky first made its most popular channels available through NOW TV, its online subscription service. LIke Sky Stream, the main selling point of NOW TV is that you can access Sky channels without committing to a long contract. Different monthly Memberships are on offer, and you can choose to take as many as you want. Sky Sports is available with either a daily or a rolling monthly Membership.
Once you've purchased your Membership, you can watch NOW TV via the free app on a smart TV (if you have one) or by plugging in a streaming stick such as a Roku. You can also watch it on both Android and Apple devices, computers, laptops and games consoles.
The NOW TV Entertainment Membership gives you access to live content from a number of channels, including Sky Atlantic, SKy Max and Sky Comedy, as well as free access to all Sky Box Sets and the Sky Kids channels. The Sky Cinema Membership comes with all Sky Cinema channels, including thrillers, horrors, romance, kids films and more.
The Sky Sports Membership gives you access to all ten Sky Sports channels, including Premier League, golf, cricket, and F1, as well as Eurosport and Sky Sports News. Like NOW Entertainment and NOW Cinema, NOW Sport is available on a rolling monthly subscription but also offers one-day memberships if you just want to catch the occasional sports event.
Bear in mind that monthly NOW TV subscriptions will automatically roll on unless you take action to cancel them.
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Virgin Media shows several Sky channels, including Sky One, Sky Living, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, Cartoon Network as well as the full collection of Sky Cinema and Sky Sports channels. You’ll need one of Virgin's top-tier packages to get all the channels, so make sure you look at what is available in each package before making a decision.
If you’re a BT customer, you will get all the NOW TV Entertainment channels as part of the Entertainment pack. One step up will bring you to BT’s Big Entertainment pack, which is NOW TV Entertainment and NOW TV Cinema combined. All the Sky Sports channels are also on offer in the Big Sport packs. Or you can choose the VIP pack, which will give you all the Sky channels available via the NOW TV Memberships.
TalkTalk customers can choose to bolt on any NOW TV Memberships with their TalkTalk TV package. TalkTalk Boosts are no longer available, but customers can choose to watch NOW TV via their TalkTalk TV box instead, without the need for an additional viewing device.
Yes. If there is not a communal Sky dish already installed, you can choose to buy Sky Glass or Sky Stream instead and just use your internet connection.
If you live in a listed building, there is every chance you will not be allowed to have a Sky dish on your roof, in which case we advise you to choose either Sky Glass or Sky Stream, neither of which require a satellite dish.
No, you do not have to have Sky broadband in order to have Sky TV - you can use any broadband provider but Sky recommends a minimum download speed of 10Mbps, so a fibre broadband service is ideal. Customers wanting to watch in UHD and on multiple devices at once will need a faster speed.